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National Health IT Week

National Health IT Week underscores the connection between information and technology to promote better health outcomes

This DentaQuest health care data expert explains how we’re supporting healthy communities and person-centered care

DentaQuest is joining health care organizations and stakeholders across the country in recognizing National Health IT Week which focuses on the importance of utilizing information and technology to achieve health care transformation.

Those engaged in National Health IT Week include provider organizations, payers, pharmaceutical/biotech companies, government agencies, industry/professional associations, research foundations, and consumer protection groups. Together, we aim to call national attention to the advantages of system-wide adoption of health information technology to improve the quality of care delivery, increase patient safety, and strengthen the interaction between patients and providers.

In our pursuit of revolutionizing oral health to create an effective and equitable system that results in improved oral health and well-being for everyone, the DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement recognizes information technology as a critical component of person-centered care.

Currently, the complexity of health information systems and the lack of interoperable technology (computer programs that can communicate with each other) continue to pose significant barriers to delivering interprofessional care.

More specifically, communication and coordination of care between oral health and other health care disciplines are disrupted by the inability of health information systems to meaningfully interpret and share data. Other challenges include the lack of standards for interprofessional care and software limitations for effective health records management. These information silos limit our ability to address whole-person care across the lifespan. Breaking them down is vitally important to move toward a new era in oral and physical health care.

As we work to advance person-centered models of care through interprofessional practice and value-based transformation, we’re actively using and developing health information technology tools to improve the way we collect, share, and use health data.

For instance, we’re developing and testing improved data capture and reporting to enable access to new data, as well as better measurement of oral health and improved health outcomes. Our partners nationwide include leading health IT stakeholders, state and regional health information exchanges, and health systems – all with the same goal to identify emerging technologies that move coordinated care forward, ensuring care providers, patients, and communities have the information and support they need to achieve optimal oral health.

Our goal is to advance a health care system where technology closes communication gaps, connecting individuals, communities, and health professionals and engaging them as partners in advancing health for all.

To learn more about the work we are doing, visit our website: www.dentaquestpartnership.org.

Guest post from Rebekah Fiehn, health care data exchange specialist for the DentaQuest Partnership